Streamflow observations

The context of global change makes it essential to have quality hydrological data to support water management and hydrological planning. The increase and intensification of drought periods, together with the increase in anthropogenic pressure in the basins, has a direct effect on Andorra's load capacity factor. In this sense, applied research must serve to promote and develop knowledge about the study of water as a resource and as a risk, which is essential for any country. 

The hydro-climatic series and in particular the flow data are basic for developing hydrological studies, such as for example the analysis of streamflow temporal trends, the construction of water balances, the estimation of resources and water demands, the implementation of streamflow prediction models, drought and energy resource studies, eco-hydrological river monitoring projects, the study of extreme hydrological events and associated risks, etc. 

One of the fundamental data to carry out any hydrological studies in drainage basins, is the river flow rate (Q). However, flow measurement data are often difficult to obtain and in many cases quality data or sufficiently long time series are not available, even though they are the only empirical data that allow hydrological modeling of future scenarios. These modeling’s can be aimed at a multitude of applications, such as the estimation of water resources and snow cover, the flood risk assessment, or the droughts risk evaluation under different socio-economic and hydroclimatic scenarios. 

Most gauging hydrological stations measure the water level of a river section from a sensor, and then with a stage-discharge rating curve, it is estimated the discharge related to different water levels. When it comes to fixed river channel stations, streamflow estimates are relatively simple. And on the other hand, in changing beds (not fixed river channel conditions), estimating flows are more complicated, especially related to mid and low flows. An approach from research, through the study of river sections, should allow to improve the estimation of streamflow in changing river beds. 

In this project, work will be done to obtain the current state of the infrastructure for automatic observations of Andorran streamflow, and to make a proposal for improvements for the estimation of streamflow, through the homogenization of data collection and of a protocol for obtaining stage-discharge rating curve. These proposals and protocols can be used to support the public sector but also private sector. 

This project studies the current state of the infrastructure for automatic observations of Andorran streamflow with the aim of identifying proposals to improve the estimation of streamflow [1], through the homogenisation of data collection and a protocol for obtaining stage-discharge rating curves. These proposals or protocols can serve as support for the public sector as well as the private sector.

This project also includes one of the applications of the streamflows observed data, the Monthly newsletter for monitoring the water resources of the Principality of Andorra, with the aim of disseminating the monthly status of the resource to all citizens. 



[1] AR+I, “Millora de les dades d’observacions de cabals de les conques fluvials d’Andorra,” 2022.